Regional Ozone Designations

Air Quality Stakeholders:
Please see the linked letter from the EPA regarding regional ozone designations across the state. The EPA will retain the Dallas-Fort Worth and the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria as nonattainment areas under the 2008 Ozone Standard.  However, they are not making a recommendation at this time for Bexar County or the surrounding Metropolitan Statistical Area counties. Further, the EPA is changing the El Paso area designation to being in attainment/unclassifiable despite exceeding the national standard due to the consideration of exceptional events that impacted their regional levels.
On November 6th, the EPA issued a letter which listed over 200 Texas counties as being in attainment/unclassifiable.  At that time, no urban areas were included.  The current December 22nd letter follows that notification by including designations of other Texas urban areas, but did not include the Alamo region. The EPA issues these 120-day notification letters as a requirement under the Clean Air Act.  Final determinations for the listed counties are expected to be issued in late April. 
We expect that the EPA will continue to study and evaluate the Alamo region before making a final determination as to the designation status. The state has until February 28th to submit additional information for the EPA to consider in its determination for the Alamo region. We will keep you updated as we receive any updates.
Roger Arriaga
Natural Resources Director

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